Friday, December 13, 2013

Protecting Pregnant Women in the Work Place

Blogger's Note: The following is a press release from Mark painter's office:
Mark Painter, D-146th Dist.

State Rep. Mark Painter, D-146th Dist., has introduced legislation that would establish the Pennsylvania Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

Under Painter's bill, it would be unlawful for a covered employer to refuse reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions unless those accommodations would prove an undue hardship on the entity’s operations.

Painter said this year marks the 35th anniversary of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The PDA amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit employment discrimination due to childbirth, pregnancy, or similar related medical conditions.

"Today, unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination remains a persistent and growing problem. 

In the majority of cases, the accommodations women need are minor, such as permission to sit periodically, the ability to carry a water bottle, or help lifting heavy objects. Those women who continue working without having these medically advised accommodations risk their health and increase the likelihood of pregnancy complications," said Painter.

"Pregnancy discrimination causes significant and long-term harm to women and their families well beyond pregnancy, to include the loss of health benefits, job seniority, and wages. These losses also contribute to measurable long-term gender-based pay differences."

House Bill 1892 is part of the Pennsylvania Agenda for Women’s Health, a comprehensive legislative package to address health issues affecting Pennsylvania women. The first phase of the proposal was unveiled today during a Capitol news conference by the Women's Health Caucus, of which Painter is a member.

The caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators partnering with interest groups and advocacy organizations seeking to develop and implement legislation and social policy that protects and respects a woman’s right to make private, personal medical decisions.

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